Oakland, California Drug Addiction And Abuse
For years, Oakland, California ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the US thanks to its high violent crime rate stemming from gang violence and drug activity. The most commonly abused illicit substances in Oakland are marijuana, heroin, and prescription opioid painkillers. Heroin in particular contributes to the most hospital visits and overdoses annually. Additionally, heroin-related treatment is dispensed at rates seven times that of other opioids.
The Opioid Epidemic in Oakland
Large numbers of legal, American prescription users turn to street heroin after doctors refuse to keep prescribing painkilling medication. The rising cost of living and the over-reliance of residents on prescription opioid, has resulted in heroin addiction and homelessness for many in the urban city. In the 3 years leading up to 2020, new opioid management strategies have helped curb the effects of heroin dependence in Almeda County. Implementation of Narcan training and distribution have saved dozens of lives in Oakland alone. Community leaders are now looking to preventative measures to further shrink the damage of opioids in Oakland.
In Alameda County, there is approximately one opioid prescription written for every two residents. Although the rate of prescription opioid deaths has been lower in the Oakland area compared to national numbers, the overall rate continues to increase annually. Furthermore, Alameda County’s drug deaths are still almost 7 times that of countries like Germany. Making meaningful changes to the ways drugs are prescribed in the US as a whole will help cities like Oakland avoid the crippling addiction issues killing scores of people a day.
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Oakland Drug Abuse Statistics
The approximate cost of opioid-related hospital visits in 2014 totaled $9.6 million.
In 2019, the homeless population in Oakland reached 4,071 individuals, a larger proportion of the city population than San Francisco and Berkely.
Two-thirds of opioid-related hospitalizations in 2014 were for patients using public funds.
Oakland Addiction Treatment Services
Located across the Bay from San Francisco, there is a wide variety of addiction treatment options available to Oakland residents. Whether those seeking recovery are looking for luxury rehab centers with diverse amenities or government-funded opportunities close-to-home, the Bay Area has a lot to offer.
Oakland reserves federal funds to provide multiple types of care for those in need; one in four children live in poverty, and 20% of all residents live below the federal poverty level. Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services (BHCS) works with the social services agency to provide substance use treatment services to all eligible residents. The city also passed Measure Z, setting aside more local resources to combat crime rates, drug use, violence, and homelessness.
Alameda County provides the following substance use treatment services to all residents:
- Opioid treatment program/medication-assisted treatment
- Withdrawal management (24/7 clinically-managed detox and sober support)
- Residential services
- Sober living environments/recovery residences
- Outpatient treatment, including intensive treatment
- Recovery support services
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Support Groups in Oakland
There are also a number of Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups available to promote life-long recovery. Whether it’s in the East Bay, the suburbs, or the greater Alameda County, 12-step groups can aid those suffering from addiction stay on track or simply seek sobriety. Group meetings and group therapy can be especially helpful for those with a substance use disorder to build relationships, trust, and maintain a sober network.
If you’re ready to start your path to recovery, talk to a treatment provider now.